Opening the Cannes Film Festival is a privilege usually reserved for films making their premiere. Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, though, is bucking that trend; it comes out on the 10th of May, while Cannes opens on the 15th.

Luhrmann said it was a "great honour" and said Cannes was a special place for him."We are thrilled to return to a country, place and festival that has always been so close to our hearts," he said. "Not only because my first film Strictly Ballroom was screened there 21 years ago, but also because F Scott Fitzgerald wrote some of the most poignant and beautiful passages of his extraordinary novel just a short distance away at a villa outside Saint-Raphaël." The studio have defended the decision to have Leonardo Dicaprio et al open the prestigious film festival after the film’s release. “I think it will breathe a different kind of life into the domestic play,” Sue Kroll, Warner Bros. president of worldwide marketing, told The Times. “This is a film for the entire summer, not just for opening weekend or the weekend after.” Joining Leo is British actress Carey Mulligan, who plays Daisy Buchanan, while former Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire plays narrator Nick Carraway. Jay Z, who is providing the score for the film, will also be in attendance at the glitzy ceremony.

Leonarodo DiCaprioDicaprio at The Golden Globes

“If the timing of our release had been different we would definitely have followed the more traditional model and used Cannes to set up the world,” Kroll added. “But I’m happy it worked out.”